I hated middle school. It was a terrible time. The only redeeming thing about it is when I lost that lovin’ feeling for my very first boyfriend it was perfectly acceptable to send him a note via my BFF saying “I can’t go out with you anymore. Sorry.” Quick, easy, to the point, and no face to face contact involved- break ups were so easy back then! 17 years later, things have really changed. I figure it would land me on the Biggest Bitch of the Year list if I slipped a note under the new nice guy’s door saying I no longer wished to date him even though he is indeed very nice and seems to have taken a shine to me, but damnit, that’s just how I want to do it!
I doubt anyone really enjoys or is great at break ups, but I will go so far as to say I am down right awful at them. I stutter and stumble and sweat and stall for as long as possible because I loathe hurting people and I hate confrontation. Luckily for me, I haven’t really had to do them that much. So far my dating history looks a lot like this: meeting a guy, going on a first date and, for a mixture of reasons, never having a second, or meeting a guy, skipping the casual part and falling straight into relationship mode with him. As you see, there hasn’t been a whole lot of this casual “dating” thing happening in my life until now. One of the perks of being a relationship kind of gal is that I’ve only been through a handful of breakups, and of those, only two of them were my doing. Kind of awesome because break ups suck, but kind of shitty because now that I am dating I lack break up practice and have no idea how to do them! Also, relationship break ups, like the ones I initiated, are a lot different than casual dating break ups. The end of relationships tend to come about for big, dramatic reasons; infidelity, future goals not aligning, and my favorite, loving a person, but not being “in love” with them. Dating break ups are a little more murky, a whole lot of ‘it’s fun and the person is nice, but…meh.’ comes to mind. Probably no true specific reasons, but you just know if you don’t break it off now you’ll find yourself two years later in a relationship with a man who gives you no zsa zsa zus. And really, what is the casual dating protocol? Do going on a few dates warrant an actual “we need to talk” moment? And if that’s the case, since I can’t end it in a note, or in our society’s case, a text, how do I do the casual break up? SEE?! I am not good at this. So this pretty much brings me to where I’m at now. Casually dating the new nice guy, but after about four dates knowing the end is nigh for us since he is getting the zsa zsa zus while I’m only getting the mehs. So, again I ask, how does one do the casual break up?
I’ve been advised the phase out is the way to go when your relationship with someone is in infancy. Ahh yes, the good ol phase out. You reschedule your next date, you take a little longer to respond to texts, you reschedule again, and then eventually you just don’t respond at all. Umm, except…how rude! I hate the phase out. In my mind the phase out is worse than being slipped a Dear John letter. It provides no closure to the person on the receiving end of it and whether it was only two dates or twenty, doesn’t everyone deserve a little peace of mind?
I’ve also been advised to flat out lie. Say I have to move for work, or have decided to become a nun, or am in love with my best friend who just happens to be a woman, but y’all, I suck at lying. I mean, I’m good at it, kind of par for the course with an acting background, but I suck at it in the sense that I feel extreme amounts of guilt and usually end up crumbling under pressure when being asked to elaborate on the lie.
So I suppose if I don’t want to follow these terrible nuggets of advice I’ve so unhelpfully been given and I do want to provide a little peace of mind and not be eaten away by guilt I only have one option left- put my big girl pants on and just confront the situation head on. Since this is one of those murky casual dating scenarios and there is no huge reason to give to the new nice guy, I fear that I will have to bust out one of my most hated phrases of all time…”I’m just not that into you.” But honestly, when it comes to break ups I think it’s best to follow the golden rule and do unto the person you are seeing as you would hope someone would do unto you in the future. I would rather hear it like it is. So here we go, y’all. On come my big girl pants and yes, it’s likely I will stutter and stumble and sweat and stall while trying to think of some kind way to phrase it, but so it goes.
And, dear readers, who knows…maybe my ego is bigger than need be and new nice guy isn’t all zsa zsa zuing about me and we’ll high five at the end of the conversation and walk away pals. Yes.Yes, I very much love this version of the scenario, so (and I never thought I’d say this about a guy) please, let’s all hope that he’s just not that into me.